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Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him / pbh), the last Prophet of God was born at the early dawn of the 17th of Rabi'u 'l-Awwal in the year 570 CE in Mecca. His mother's name was Aminah bint Wahb while his father was 'Abdullah, son of 'Abdul 'l-Muttalib, who had died in Madina on his return from Damascus, even before Muhammad's birth. As was the tradition of the Arabs of the time, Muhammad (pbh) was sent to a wet-nurse while he was a child. For this, his grandfather and guardian 'Abdu 'l-Muttalib, selected an honorable lady named Halima, from the tribe of Bani Sa'ad who were famous for their bravery and eloquence.

When Muhammad (pbh) was six years old, he was taken by his mother to Madina, where his father was buried, to visit her relatives. At a place named Abwa', the mother died suddenly, leaving the child an orphan. Muhammad (pbh) was then taken into the custody of his grandfather who was also the chief of the Quraish tribe. After only two years, Abdul Mutalib died and the orphan boy was then taken into the custody of his affectionate uncle Abu Talib, a trader.

According to some historians, on one occasion when Abu Talib brought Muhammad (pbh) to accompany him on his trade caravan to Damascus, they met a Christian monk named Bahira at Basra, situated on the trade route. Bahira had noticed the shadow of a cloud keeping pace with the young orphan. After questioning Muhammad, Bahira knew that Muhammad

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was to one day become a Prophet and informed Abu Talib to protect him.

Due to his character, Muhammad grew up to be a respected youth and became known as 'Muhammad, the Trustworthy' or 'al-Amin'. It was for this honesty, trustworthiness and virtue that an honorable wealthy lady named Khadija, daughter of Khuwalid, sought to employ Muhammad, then twenty five years of age, to take charge and lead her trading caravan to Damascus and Basra.

The trip not only brought unprecedented profits but also revelations to Khadija from her servant Masara who was sent to accompany Muhammad (pbh), of his excellent character and generosity. According to most historians, Khadija, had been twice married and twice widowed. Some sources named Abu Halah and Atigh Makhzumi as former husbands. Due to the excellent reputation of Muhammad, she now decided to send her close friend Nafisa to speak to Muhammad (pbh) about marriage.

The beautiful and most honorable lady of the Quraish, who had spurned the proposals of many Quraish aristocrats and rich men married Muhammad (pbh), who was twenty five years old, and fifteen years younger than she. Some historians say that Khadija had had two sons and one daughter from her earlier marriages. Though all historians agree that with Muhammad (pbh), Khadija bore a daughter called Fatimah Zahra, other children attributed to Muhammad cannot be ascertained

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whether were also his or from Khadija's previous marriages. These were Qasim and 'Abdallah, who died in infancy and three daughters; Zaynab, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum.

While polygamy was a common practice in Arabia at the time as well as in the history of earlier Prophets, such as Abraham (pbh), Muhammad (pbh) did not take another wife as long as Khadija was alive. And even after her death, various Hadiths or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbh), narrate how Muhammad (pbh) continued to cherish her.

While Muhammad (pbh) was unlettered and did not share the polytheistic beliefs of the Meccan Quraish, his stature among them none the less continued to increase due to his honesty and justice . When Muhammad (pbh) was thirty, the Quraish tribes decided to repair and rebuild the Ka'ba, then desecrated with pagan idols. They chose Muhammad (pbh) to arbitrate their dispute as to which tribe should have the honor of reinstalling the Black Stone. Muhammad (pbh) had the stone placed on a piece of cloth and asked members of each tribe to lift it together to the corner of the Ka'ba where it was to be placed and then raised it up himself.



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